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Swans of Gloucestershire: Bullies of the British

  In people’s minds, swans are graceful in shape and gentle in nature, and are the embodiment of beauty and elegance. However, in Gloucestershire, England, swans have subverted people’s perceptions, because people there have been “bullied” by swans for a long time.
  The swans in Gloucestershire are different. They are fearless, domineering and do whatever they want. News of swan attacks on people are not uncommon: near a path near a water source, a swan fiercely blocked two joggers, scaring the two of them. Back off; In a residential area, a swan has been harassing local residents for five years, pecking at doors, sometimes for more than three hours; on a university campus, swans frequently attack students, forcing the school to install fences on the roadside. The poor postman has to go through a “fierce battle” every day when delivering things.
  Faced with the endless harassment of swans, people are miserable. However, the dilemma they face is: they can only be beaten by the swan and cannot fight back. Why is this?
  It turns out that swans have a special status in Britain. Under British law, any unmarked swan in the country’s open waters (wild swans in parts of the Thames) belongs to the king. Injuring these swans not only violates wildlife protection laws, but can also lead to prosecution for suspected theft and criminal damage. Every July, staff in red uniforms sit on boats with royal logos and count the number of swans on the Thames River, weigh the swans, and check whether they have any damage caused by fishing hooks and lines. In addition, those who intentionally kill a swan will be sentenced to 6 months in prison or fined 5,000 pounds, and swan eggs cannot be picked up casually. Under such regulations, British residents dare not harm or touch swans.
  What should you do if you meet a swan? If you can’t afford to offend someone, you can hide from them. If you really can’t afford to hide, go to the police. The problem is, even if the police come, they can’t beat the swan! On British social media, videos of police clumsily capturing swans have always become a source of laughter among netizens. It is said that they have received professional training and can handle various emergencies. Aren’t they able to deal with swans easily? But in fact, they were helpless against the swans: First, the swans’ attacks were unorganized and impossible to deal with; second, swans are protected animals that cannot be harmed, and the police had no way to attack them. Therefore, controlling swans has become a headache for the police. They can only use methods such as driving away, intimidating, and trying to reason with the troublemaking swans to keep them away from the crowd. However, swans are unreasonable. In more cases, the police have no choice but to arrest them, provided that they “cannot cause too much harm”, which results in very long enforcement time.
  Swans particularly like to trespass on highways, easily triggering road blockades. Once, the drivers thought there was a traffic accident ahead, but after waiting in the car for several hours, they discovered that there was a policeman battling a swan ahead. It turned out that the police placed a traffic warning cone next to the swan that broke into the road, and then engaged in a silent confrontation with the swan until the swan felt bored and flew away, and the traffic returned to normal. People could not tolerate the incompetence of the police and raised questions one after another. Under the pressure of public opinion, the police department had to find ways to deal with Swan. Next, all the police officers were sent to a training course called “Swan Control Course”. They received professional training and used the most appropriate and effective way to control the swan without harming the swan.
  Is it true that the residents and police of Gloucestershire can’t beat the swan? Certainly not. After hundreds of years of historical accumulation of protecting swans, the status of swans as a national treasure has been firmly established in the hearts of the British – love is the starting point, but defeat is just an excuse.